Journaling - A How and Why Guide
Have you wondered what journaling is and why it seems to be the thing to do at the moment? Well journaling isn’t just about writing down your to do list, it has many benefits and can be therapeutic in many ways.
- It reduces stress
- Can help improve your mood
- Can boost your immune system
There are many reasons to keep a journal and unlike a diary a journal gives you the freedom to “freestyle” the way you record your emotions, your things to do, your fitness trackers or your work commitments. It really is up to you. Your journal can be full of doodles or pictures or you can keep it more formal. The point is that it’s your journal and by allowing your thoughts to tumble out over time you will get a great insight into yourself.
By writing down how you are feeling, what you have been doing and what you need to do you can learn a lot about yourself and what makes you tick or sick! By writing down your thoughts and your commitments you will become better organised and able to recognise and either embrace or avoid certain situations. You’ll develop an awareness of self through your journal which will allow you to focus on the things that make you happy and will leave you better equipped to deal with the things that may leave you feeling a little below par.
If you are just starting out you’ll need some focus or you’ll likely manage a few days and then forget about it. Consider why you want to keep a journal and what you hope to achieve from it and whether you have time to keep it up?
There are several reasons to keep a journal. A popular one is for your Mental Health. This may help with mindfulness and help to reduce stress and anxiety. This is a time to focus on what has bugged you today, list everything and why it bugged you, then on the opposite page list what has made you feel good and what you’ve enjoyed. It doesn’t matter what these things are, they are your thoughts and feelings and so are true to you. Then write down how you can avoid or influence the things that made you feel bad and encourage more of the things that made you feel great. Here is where you can add your doodles, lines of poetry and use language (even swear words), anything that brings your journal to life and helps you to express how you are feeling.
You might want to keep a work journal. Record ideas that you have, how you can bring them to life, will they work and do you need help? By recording these moments of inspiration you can look back at where you have succeeded and which elements failed. This will pinpoint the areas that need more work and will show your strengths and weaknesses which will help in your career.
Pregnancy and Parenthood Journals are a great idea and are so good to look back on for subsequent babies. As a Mum to Be it helps to record the changes in each trimester to your body, your mood and your relationships can help you to understand your body during this life changing event. We have the beautiful Baby Shower new baby gift box available which contains a luxury Cross Notebook and treats for mum and dad which is perfect to record your parenthood journey. When baby arrives your journaling will be a great organiser for baby’s development with feeding, growth, language and a memento to look back on for the weekly milestones. You could add photos, messages from friends and family and create a scrap book. What a great keepsake or gift for when baby grows up and starts their own family!
Bullet Journals were brought to prominence by Ryder Carroll and are very popular, however bullet journaling is not for the faint hearted. It will take planning but it does provide one place to record multiple areas of your life. Within one journal you can set up “chapters” to record your daily chores, fitness goals and achievements, mental health trackers, study goals and much more depending on your lifestyle and personality. This will need you to create a weekly or monthly table with your goals listed and the days across the top. You might just want to tick the days you’ve achieved your goal or have space to write a few words.
So you want to get started and need some equipment. The good thing is all you need is a basic notebook and a pen and you’re on your way but if you want to go all out you can get really creative with pretty fabric page markers, sticky notes, gel pens and coloured pencils for each section. It’s a good idea to have correction fluid or erasers to keep your book neat or you might prefer to see your crossings out? It’s up to you, it’s your journal.
Here at Ooh we have a number of gift sets that will be perfect as a journal gift for you or your loved one. Our favourite is a bit special, the Desk Mate contains an embossed luxury faux leather Cross notebook and ballpoint pen. This lovely notebook gift comes complete with bullet markers and a stainless steel water bottle to keep you hydrated whilst you work. As an alternative we have the Writer Gift Box which contains a Collins notebook with a soft feel cover and a pen with built in USB memory stick and if you’re looking for something a bit different we have an eco-friendly Bamboo Gift Set which is perfect. With a sustainably sourced bamboo covered notebook and pen, we’ve also included a cute bamboo travel cup, extra strong mints and hand sanitiser.
These are just a few ideas to get you started and there are hundreds of ready-made journals available for you to complete and if you're opting for a DIY version you can also find detailed guides to help you to set out your weekly trackers . We like the idea of DIY it's fit for purpose and will be more personal even if it does take a little planning.
Good luck and be sure to check out our selection of notebooks in the Practical Collection.